What is mediation and why do it?

Mediation is where parties to a dispute can get some help in working through their problems. Our staff closely manage the mediation process. We have the expertise to give you procedural and strategic advice and this is often all the help parties need to find their own resolution.

If the dispute has not been resolved through our early discussions, then we arrange a formal mediation with a mediator from our panel and a meeting room at a time that suits everybody. We provide convenient mediation facilities for free, either in Sydney's CBD or if your business is regional, at a location close to you.

Sometimes a formal mediation session is the first time each party has listened to the other side's story from start to finish, and feels that they have been listened to as well.

The mediator helps identify the issues that need to be discussed and leads the discussion to keep things on track. As issues are opened up, each side becomes better informed about their choices and the possibilities to sort the problems out.

Most of the time, when the parties understand their situation and the issues better, they choose to agree on a pathway forward. Mediation usually results in a binding agreement between them. When parties have control of their issues and the resolution, they most often keep the deal they make to sort things out.

Mediation is so successful that most of all matters referred to us for mediation are resolved prior to having a court decide the matter. Before a court or tribunal can make a decision on certain matters, by law you may be required to attempt mediation with us. The mediation process is essential in minimising the costs of business and commercial disputes.

To find out about legal mediation requirements or to talk about mediation and our service, call We Assist on 1300 795 534 or email us at we.assist@smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au.

The key benefits of mediation are:

  • The parties have greater control over the outcome rather than having a court force you to accept a solution
  • Anything said in mediation is confidential, and cannot be used in later court cases. This encourages open communication, and creative solutions to problems, without fear of what you say "coming back to bite you"
  • The mediator appointed is not on anyone's side - they help both parties find a practical solution to the problem, rather than helping one side win against the other
  • The overwhelming majority of matters will resolve before the lengthy and expensive court proceedings need to take place.